Student reps on board of trustees criticize dilapidated commuter lounge at CSU
Two student representatives on the Cleveland State University board of trustees told the trustees at their Nov. 16 meeting of the poor condition of the commuter lounge in the Student Center, urging the administration to address the problems.
Akshat Shah and Jacob Wrege put it to the board that the lounge was failing students. Shah included a slideshow with videos and pictures which depicted broken furniture and computers.
“There’s trash scattered across the desk. There’s lockers, some of them have garbage in them,” Shah said. “There’s also 40 computers that we have in this one space, and none of them are functional. They all have blue tape taped on them.”
Shah and Wrege also identified other areas in the Student Center that are experiencing similar issues with broken furniture.
The commuter lounge is the only area on campus solely dedicated to commuter students, who make up a large percentage of Cleveland State’s student population.
Anup Kumar, Ph.D., who is the faculty senate president and serves as a faculty representative to the board of trustees, reiterated this point made by the student trustees.
“If we want more students to stay on campus, to stick around for the day, they need this facility,” Dr. Kumar said.
The administration responded that the Division of Student Belonging and Success, under its new leader, Tachelle Banks, Ph.D., was actively working to improve the various issues in the Student Center, home to the commuter lounge.
CSU Senior Vice President of Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer David Jewell spoke on behalf of Dr. Banks, who was unable to attend the meeting, telling the trustees that Banks' office had sent out surveys to all Cleveland State University students to get their input on the Student Center.
Other news from the board meeting
Dr. Julie Rehm, the vice president of university advancement and the executive director of the Cleveland State University Foundation, presented to the board plans for nineteen integrated degrees that are set to launch in fall 2024, depending on their approval by the Ohio Department of Education. Dr. Rehm explained that integrated degrees are an initiative at U.S. universities which creates a single interdisciplinary major by combining the core elements of two separate majors.
The integrated degrees would differ from dual majors as they would be one degree instead of two, and obtaining an integrated degree would fall under similar time frames and course requirements for a single degree.
At one of the CSU Foundation’s social events this year, Dr. Rehm asked the attendees, which included the Cleveland State alumni board, the foundation board, the board of trustees and other university-wide leadership, to vote on which integrated degrees they considered would be most impactful.
The integrated degrees with the most votes are data science and health science, psychology and criminology, computer science and design, and engineering and sales.
New dean of the Levin college
On the recommendation of CSU's President Laura Bloomberg, Ph.D., the board ratified the university's choice of a new dean of the Levine College of Public Affairs, Jill A. Gordon, P.h.D.
Dr. Gordon, who is an Ohio native, was the assistant vice provost for faculty affairs as well as a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. She was appointed as Levine College’s new dean and will begin her new role on Jan. 2, 2024.
“Dr. Gordon really rose to the top in many ways. I know that she is highly regarded at VCU,” President Bloomberg said. “She is so excited to be here, and she’ll be joining us in January. She’s going to be great.”
The next CSU Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for Friday, December 15, and is open to the public via livestream.